BRACKNELL Bees crashed 6-1 to Swindon Wildcats at The Hive on Sunday – a day after they had beaten the same opponents 5-4 on their own ice, writes Dave Wright.

These two completely contrasting performances on the first weekend of pre-season friendlies will certainly have given Bees boss Doug Sheppard plenty to think about with the start of the new National League campaign fast approaching.

But at this early stage, individual performances are more important than results and Sheppard is confident his new-look squad will soon gel together.

He would have been pleased with the way his side came from the back three times to win at the Link Centre, having trailed 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3 in a closely-fought encounter.

Luc Johnson's 12th-minute opener was cancelled out by Roman Malinik with a power-play goal in the 15th minute and Aidan Doughty put the visitors ahead early in the second period.

However, goals from Chris Jones and Edgars Bebris saw the hosts ahead at the end of the middle period.

Robin Kovar made it 3-3 in the 46th minute, only for Aaron Nell to net a fourth for Swindon six minutes later.

Joe Baird restored parity with a power-play effort in the 55th minute and he and Zach Milton set up the Bees winner for Ed Knaggs with just over two minutes left on the clock.

Following this spirited performance, Bracknell must have approached Sunday's return match with confidence – but their hopes of completing a quick double were shattered in just 10 minutes.

With just 65 seconds on the clock, they found them trailing to a Loris Taylor goal and a Bebris brace extended Swindon's lead to 3-0 inside the opening 10 minutes with player-coach Nell making 4-0 before the first interval.

Dan Milton took over from Adam Goss in the Bees goal, but he could not prevent the Wildcats scoring twice more through Jones, with a power-play goal late in the second period, and Nell in the 47th minute.

Malinik netted a late consolation short-handed goal at a time when Bees had lost the services of Baird, who received a 2+2 penalty for slashing plus a further 10 minutes for misconduct.

Richard Krogh, who was in the Bees squad for both the Swindon games, has been released by the club – just two weeks after joining them.

The 19-year-old forward had previously played for Guildford Flames and Great Britain Under 18s and U20s.

The club have not explained the reason for his sudden departure, but said he had been released with immediate effect, adding: "We thank Richard for his weekend with the club and wish him all the best for the future."

Bees have two more challenge matches this coming weekend against Raiders, being the host club on Saturday (6.15pm) before travelling to Romford on Sunday (5.15pm).